Changes in XAT 2020



XAT 2020 exam has made certain changes in the syllabus as well as the pattern. Today, we will see them one by one, the changes in the exam.

XAT exam pattern 2020

The pattern of the exam has been changes and certain major changes have occurred. Earlier, only five sections were there in the exam, but from now onwards, four sections will be there in the question paper. The total number of questions in the XAT exam 2020 will be 99. The other major change is that earlier the exam conducted was paper-based but now, a computer-based exam will be conducted.

Sections in the XAT Exam 2020 Number of questions Overall time limit
Part-1 Total MCQs= 74 165 minutes
Verbal and logical reasoning 26 No sectional time limit
Decision making 21 No sectional time limit
Quantitative Ability and Data interpretation 27 No sectional time limit
Part-2 Total MCQs= 25 15 minutes
General Knowledge 25
Total no of question (Part-1 and Part-2) 99

Now, we will analyze the change in the pattern of the last two-year question paper with the present change in the pattern of the exam.

XAT Exam year XAT exam 2020 XAT exam 2019 XAT exam 2018
Test  duration 3 hours 3 hours 3.5 hours
Number of sections 4 4 5
Subjective answer question No No Yes
Maximum marks 99 99 100
Key change No essay writing test Essay writing removed Essay writing was there

Special features of the XAT 2020 exam

Now, we will see certain characteristics of the XAT 2020 exam and will account for the details that are new to the exam or the information which makes it different from any other examination.

  1. The pattern of the exam: This time the exam conducted will be computer-based.
  2. The total number of questions in the exam: The total no of questions in the XAT 2020 exam will be 99.
  3. The type of question will not be subjective but will be multiple-choice questions.
  4. Each multiple-choice question will consist of 5 options as answers to that question.
  5. Every correct answer will give you 1 mark.
  6. Every incorrect answer will have negative marks. Each negative will consist of 0.25 mark deducted and these negative marks are from question number 1 to 74.
  7. The question that will consist of GK questions will have no negative marking.
  8. The candidates are allowed to submit the exam after 30 minutes of commencement of the examination.
  9. The total duration of the XAT 2020 exam will be 3 hours.
  10. The percentile calculation is a little different. The percentile will be calculated from only 3 sections of the XAT 2020 exam. The GK section will not constitute towards the calculation of the percentile.
  11. The most important feature is that there will be no sectional time limit of the examination. You can solve each section in the prescribed time limit and no restriction on time is taken to complete each section.  The candidate can attempt any question from the three sections available within the prescribed time limit. But, a candidate can proceed to part-2 of the exam only after completion of the part-1.

Important changes in the pattern of the XAT 2020 exam

  1. Introduction of NAT questions: NAT question means; Numerical answer type question. From now, onwards the XAT 2020 exam will have numerical answer type questions for the candidates. These questions have been introduced by XLRI. For answering these questions, candidates have to use the virtual keypad given to them by which they can answer each question by typing that particular answer.
  2. The new concept is introduced that is unattempted questions will now carry negative marks. Each unattempted questions beyond a certain limit i.e. after 8 unanswered questions you will be awarded negative of 0.10 marks. So, you have to answer as many questions as possible.
  3. This time there is a huge relief for the students as there will be no essay writing for the students. They do not have to undergo any subjective questions like essay writing from this XAT exam paper.
  4. The duration of the time is reduced this time and the total time allotted to the students will be 3 hours and which is less than provided earlier in the examination.
  5. This time extra 25 minutes will be given to visually impaired candidates for the three sections allotted to them. But there will be no extra time for the GK section and they have to complete that section within the time limit prescribed to them.

XAT 2020 exam pattern and syllabus

Now, we will see the syllabus for the exam.

  1. VARC and LR section: 1st section
  • Total questions= 26
  • Total no of comprehension passages: 4
  • Question-based on reading comprehension: 14 to 16
  • Verbal ability questions: 8 to 10

So, this will be the bifurcation of no of questions in the examination.

2. Decision making: 2nd section

This section is considered to be the most important section for the candidates and they have to score maximum marks in this section.

  • Total question: 21

There will be 7 to 8 problems of decision making and each one will consist of 2 to 3 questions and candidates have to answer them accordingly.

  1. Quantitative Ability and Data interpretation: 3rd section
  • Total no of questions: 27

Questions will consist of various problems related to time and work, percentage, loss and profit and many important topics of elementary mathematics. Candidates need to be focused while attempting these questions.

  1. General Knowledge: 4sssss section
  • Total no. of questions: 25

The time limit for the section: 15 minutes

Each question will consist of current affairs questions, questions related to Indian politics, sports and various areas of general knowledge.


So, we have seen the necessary changes brought in the exam pattern of the XAT 2020 exam. This time various changes have been sought and the difficulty level of the examination is increased a little to select the best candidate of all.